When looking to buy a house, office or commercial space, there are tons of things to worry about. The area, location, furniture, facilities and utilities supply, and majorly the safety and health of your family or employees. The same issues, if not more, arise when renovating a house or office. And paint should be the least one of these worries.

Why is lead in paint and lead dust a cause of worry? Many homes and offices, especially the older ones, are coated in lead based paint. The Australian Standard (AS 4361.2:2017) for hazardous paint management was updated in December 2017 and the safe concentration standard of lead in paints was reduced from 1.0% to 0.1%. With the revised standards, surfaces painted and structures built prior to 1997, may now be defined as lead containing. Over 3.5 million homes in Australia will fall under this category! Even while buying a property and knocking down the old structures present, or when renovating a home, it can create a lead hazard.

One can be exposed to lead present on surfaces subject to impact or friction such as doors, windows and railings as well as on walls where the paint is flaking and chipping. Paint removal by dry scraping, blasting, dry sanding and using power tools creates lead dust. It poses the most threat as the particles are small enough to be inhaled or ingested easily. In situ dust can be disturbed during day to day activities. Complete removal of lead dust is very tedious; it has been shown to remain in carpets for over three years after renovations. The dust can contaminate garden soil and adjacent properties as well.

Lead is a very harmful substance, particularly for children, elderly, and chronically ill people. On exposure it can lead to high blood-lead levels and eventually lead poisoning. Lead poisoning, or plumbism, usually happens over months or years. High blood-lead levels can also cause neurological changes, developmental delays, and damage to other vital organs. It can result in abdominal pain, learning disabilities, and seizures. At very high levels, lead can even be fatal. Lead is readily absorbed in the body from a single exposure and is distributed to- blood (1%), soft tissue (4%), and bones/teeth (95%). The production of red blood cells (RBC) in the body is distorted due to accumulation of lead in bone marrow. Deformed RBCs or lack of it can also lead to anaemia.

Lead inspection involves a surface-by-surface investigation to determine the presence of lead paint. Formulating a report explaining the results of the investigation also falls under lead inspection. Lead paint inspections are possible using various methods and devices, tailored tobuilding characteristics and needs of the client. The lead inspection specialists will test all the painted surfaces, like doors, windows, walls and furniture to determine if that component contains lead and the quantity of lead present in it. Basically the interior and exterior of the property will be tested for the presence of lead.

A Sampling technician will collect samples under the supervision of a certified inspector.
Sampling and analysis can be done using various methods, some of which are:

  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF) devices – a portable device providing direct reading results on site. It can analyse lead contents in the range of 0.3 to 5.0 mg/cm², including determining whether the content is below 0.3 or greater than 5.0 mg/cm², and avoids generation of lead dust due to disruptive sampling.
  • Paint chip testing – gives definitive results and allows for confirmation of non-lead-based paint XRF readings, through laboratory analysis.
  • Wipe testing- lead dust sampling done by wipe testing can help determine possible contamination and background levels. This is the most inexpensive and fast way to evaluate traces of lead in settled particles.

An inspection report is prepared by the inspector and it contains the following information-

  • Sampling procedure, testing device, method used for paint analysis, including the serial number of any XRF testing device.
  • Specific locations of each painted component tested for the presence of lead paint.
  • Inspection results in units that are same as the type of sampling methods used, the units are different for paint, dust, soil and water.

To protect yourself and others around you from lead contamination, a thorough lead inspection needs to be conducted. It is crucial to contact a professional lead inspection service, like NCPI, for detection of the same.

Being aware of the presence of lead in your home or commercial property allows you to take appropriate actions. Our meticulous and accurate testing methods ensure you get top quality service. Our labs are accredited by National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). Contact us now, for a lead inspection, sampling, analysis and reporting for your premises by trained professionals. We provide services all across Australia.

Servicing All OF AUSTRALIA

Deborah: 0425 248 453


Call Now Button